Personal branding – is it even relevant? This is a question I often get asked. When mentioned branding – it is by default associated with a product or company, never with an individual. Why is that? Don’t we all have a certain image that is perceived by the outside world? Would you agree that you are known for certain things based on how you interact? If the answers to the questions are “yes” then every individual is a brand on its own. Whether you are a business, a product or an individual we all need our own identity, in other words a brand statement. Whether you chose to consciously work on it to develop it or it gets formed by default is a choice every business and individuals have.
Personal branding has been a topic of discussion for few years now and it has started to gather momentum. This is the time of specialization, gone are the days when you were valued because you could do multiple things. Social media has made things very transparent; at a click of a button people can have even information about you. It is time that we start paying focused attention on our personal brand statement. It is a way to create that trust and dramatically improve conversion rate. Whether you use your personal brand to consult, freelance, or drive more traffic and trust to your company, it’s vitally important to establish one to stay competitive.
Here are some steps that will help you start developing your own personal branding:
Step 1: Know thyself (your expertise)
Before you establish your expertise, you need to decide on what you want to be known for. General statements like “human resources” or “finance” is not enough – you need to figure out what is your niche. There are tons of people competing for the same; hence carving out your niche is the only way you are going to stay ahead of your competition. The potential audience might get smaller with the niche but it will be the relevant people. Specificity is a trade of volume for significance.
Step 2: Let people know
The best way to let people know about your area of expertise is to do it through content marketing. Writing and publishing relevant content will help you build your online reputation and will also come in handy for people to know you. You can do it by starting your own blog, writing as a guest blogger and also publishing in Linkedin. Remember consistency is everything, so make sure you are posting content at least on a weekly basis.
Step 3: Align your social media profiles
Social media is the engine which is fueled by content. Pay attention to the details of your social media profiles, including Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, and make sure they’re consistently in line with your personal brand standards. Make sure to post updates regularly (at least once a day for Facebook and LinkedIn, at least a few times a day for Twitter), and don’t be afraid to re-post your older content for your new followers.
Step 4: Learn to be a story teller
Just being online is not enough to create your brand. People need to hear your stories, gather enough material through case studies that you can share. Stories are a very powerful way of sharing your message, expertise and building the trust. Look for events where you can speak and share. This will help establish you as an expert.
Step 5: Your network is your net worth
Get out of your comfort zone and start putting that hand out to meet more people in your area of expertise. Look for events both offline and online where you can share your knowledge, interact and build your branding. Don’t just join a group, participate. Make those connections with anybody who can be valuable to you. The more opportunities you have to meet people and talk, the better.
As with everything, it takes time and effort to build your brand too. Stay consistent with your efforts, pay attention to how your audience is responding to your content and make changes accordingly. Rome was not built in a day, so be patient but above all be consistent. Get in touch with me to get your 60 min FREE analysis